Rumble in the Jungle – Sci-Fi Rampant

Ever since I finished my jungle bases for the big colonial game in September, they’ve been languishing in the box. So I decided that the last games of the year would involve getting them back on the table, along with my  as-yet unused cloth from Big Red Bat. With some 15mm sci-fi currently on the painting board, I thought a couple of games with the existing forces, using the Dragon Rampant rules as usual, would provide some extra motivation.

I set up a small battlefield of about 3′ x 3′, with plenty of trees and some buildings to block line of sight, and a landing pad in the middle.


I borrowed the Prisoner Rescue scenario from Pikeman’s Lament, placing a captured Alliance officer on the landing pad (perhaps awaiting collection by air?) and 12 points of Mercenaries to guard him. The other 12 points worth would be able to come to their mates’ assistance from turn 2 onwards, subject to a successful movement activation.


Although I’m using 15mm figures, all movement and shooting measurements are as per the standard (28mm) game, to enhance the sense of speed/action and to provide respectable ranged fire. I have ditched the original game’s activation rule whereby the first unit to fail ends a side’s turn, and gone with the current Mersey thinking (especially for periods involving professional troops) where each unit gets a chance to activate each turn regardless of other units failing. Much better, and still provides plenty of tension and unpredictable events.

The game was fast moving, and demonstrated how you need a decent scenario and objective to ensure an interesting game. Otherwise, with a lot of units on the table having a shooting capability, it’s easy for everyone to just hunker down and use their activation to take a pot shot at the nearest enemy (which is about as much fun as watching paint dry).

After lots of dashing about, and a few close assaults that very nearly saw the prisoner rescued, the defenders just about held on and caused the required 50% (points worth of) losses on the Alliance attackers.  Very entertaining all-round.

The second game used a similar set-up, but this time the sides were reversed and increased to 36 points each. With all the available upgrades it’s easy to get to this points total within about 6 units, so doesn’t make for a particularly large game. The objective was for the attacking Mercenaries to destroy the generator in the middle of the table, which required a unit to set a demolition charge (by making a successful 7+ activation when adjacent to it) that would explode after the unit’s following activation. Easier said than done in the face of a tooled-up defender!

Defenders in position:


The attackers start to move forward:


Scouts sneak around on the flank:


Mechs block the way, and get into position for some heavy-on-heavy action:


A smokescreen obscures the defender’s fire as the attackers close in:


Losses begin to build up:


The action in full-flow:


Heavy weapons squad moves into firing position:


The Mercenaries’ fast scoutbike unit made a late dash to the generator, was sent packing by heavy fire, but returned to try again. Successfully managing to set the explosive charge, but now down to its last figure, it was able to hightail it out and score a close-fought victory for the Mercenaries.


Thoroughly enjoyable gaming, and a nice way to end the hobby year.

I just need to get my next force painted now, but have done a few vehicles and a test figure:

Happy New Year to all! I’ll be aiming to post more often in 2019.


8 thoughts on “Rumble in the Jungle – Sci-Fi Rampant”

  1. That looks bloomin’ excellent, Dave. Looking forward to giving your rules a try with my, now half finished, force.

    Happy New Year to you too.

    1. Thanks Iain, Happy New Year
      We’ll have to get together and give it a go. Hopefully we can work something out.

  2. Hi,

    Great set up and AAR! What modifications did you make to the Rampant rules for Sci Fi? (Are the final product available somewhere?)

    Thanks and Happy New Year,

    Chris Johnson

    1. Hi Chris, thanks for the positive comment. The rules are effectively played straight, but I have done some conversion work on what things are called so that they make sense from a sci-fi vs a fantasy perspective. Happy to send you a copy of my notes if that’s of interest?

  3. Hi Dave,
    Just stumbled on your blog. What a great idea using Dragon Rampant!
    Could you please let me have some more examples of the unit types you used?
    Did you use any vehicles other than bikes?

    1. Hi Nick,
      Thanks for your comment. I have taken a slightly abstract approach to using DR for sci-fi and accommodate tanks, apcs, mechs, etc. Basically I keep it simple, and within the basic rules. I haven’t done as others have and created additional unit types. A tank might be a Behemoth with breath weapon, a squad with an APC count as having an armour upgrade, so the APC is basically a marker. When the unit is moving the men are considered to be on board and I just use the APC on the table, but when they are firing/fighting they are deployed alongside the vehicle. It’s possibly a bit simplistic, but it works and gets the toys on the table! Let me know how you get on if you try DR for this ‘period’ too.
      Cheers, Dave

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